The Festival of the Hearts in Timișoara – a showcase of local and globalised identities?
This paper considers whether Festivalul Inimilor (the Festival of the Hearts), which has been held every July since 1990 in the town of Timișoara, Romania can be considered a site for the negotiation of Romanian identity in the 21st century world. It argues that the performances that take place as part of this Festival provides a window onto both local and national identity and that the networks established through this festival have provided long term links between Romania and the outside world. It concludes that participants in this Festival use their performances of music and dance as a mechanism for demonstrating a complex mix of locational and situational identities thus reinforcing local identity as being both Romanian and Bănățeni, and that through the course of its history this festival has provided a means of establishing global networks and satisfying the locals desire to experience ‘the other’. At the same time the Festivalul Inimilor has also provided a means of reinforcing local memory by allowing both Bănățeni and the festival participants from elsewhere, the opportunity to commemorate the part played by Timișoareni in the events of 1989 in Romania.